Tuesday, July 14, 1863

Siege of Jackson, Mississippi

I hear reports from General Grant that the enemy has abandoned Canton leaving the railroad North of Jackson unguarded. I plant to make use of this time during the siege to destroy the railroad completely for 40 miles. My men will stack the railroad ties for a bonfire and place the rails across them. When the rails are heated, they will be twisted into a corkscrew and bent around trees or telegraph poles. This will prevent the rails from being repaired and re-used. The enemy must melt them down and start over to make them useful. Bussey will be in command of this effort:

SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY ARMY, Number 141.
Camp before Jackson, July 14, 1863

I. An expedition, to be composed of Bussey’s cavalry, Woods’ brigade of Thayer’s DIVISION, and Landgraeber’s battery, with a company of pioneers, to be designated by General Steele, will be fitted out, ready to start on short notice, to perform certain service, concerning which the commander of the expedition, Colonel C. R. Woods, of the Seventy-sixth Ohio, will receive special instructions from the commanding general. The chief quartermaster, Lieutenant Colonel J. Condit Smith, will collect from among the wagons of the whole command about 50, to attend this expedition, to be ready by tomorrow.

II. The cavalry and a section of light artillery from General Ord’s corps will also prepare for an expedition, to start tomorrow, the commander of which will prepare 5 empty wagons to attend him, and report in person to the commanding general for instructions.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER, Assistant Adjutant-General

General Johnston has asked for a flag of truce to bury the dead, mostly from Lauman’s division. I have granted this:

HEADQUARTERS, EXPEDITIONARY ARMY, July 14, 1863

General Johnston has communicated by flag of truce, offering to bury our dead who fell at the time of Lauman’s move, asking three hours’ time. Of course I agree, and order firing to cease all along our lines till 4 p. m. Please cause a flag to be displayed as before. Allow still another hour before beginning the five-minute guns ordered this a. m.

W. T. SHERMAN

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